Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Chinese flocked to temples and fairs to pray for good health and fortune on Monday, the first day of the Lunar New Year. In Beijing, hundreds of thousands of people visited traditional fairs held in parks, as well as Buddhist and Taoist temples offering singing and dance performances and open-air markets selling handicrafts. Monday marks the first day of the Year of the Monkey ─ the ninth animal on the Chinese zodiac calendar. The weeklong holiday, known as the Spring Festival in China, is focused on family reunion and is a time when students and migrant workers return to their hometowns. It is the country's most important holiday, equivalent to Christmas for many in the West.
Across the globe more than 150 million children between age five and 14 are involved in child labour, while India is home to the highest number of working children in the world. On International Day Against Child Labour on Friday, attempts are under way to put a stop to it. In India, more than 28 million children have jobs, according to UNICEF estimates. India's current child labour law prohibits children under the age of 14 from being employed in hazardous jobs.
A recent UN report said nearly 300 million people still live under poverty in India. For a country with extreme inequalities, an abolitionist approach may not be a practical solution. However, Ribhu pointed out that "poverty is also perpetuated with the exploitation of children". "Currently there are about as many unemployed adults in India as there are working children. So these jobs are being taken by children instead of adults in the name of cheap labour," he said.